Originally posted by Scott A.E. Smith.
Sean Sinclair (@SeanSin3) recently caught up with Tomas Stryncl, an international MBA student and former OHL hockey player who’s currently on his Corporate Residency with Aon Reed Stenhouse in Halifax. After finishing his major junior hockey career, Tomas went on to play for the University of Prince Edward Island and represent the Czech Republic in the World University Games while completing his undergraduate studies. There aren’t many stories more interesting than his, so enjoy!
Tomas, you have perhaps the most unusual story of all the students in your cohort; please tell us a little bit about your heritage.
What’s there to tell besides the Czech Republic is an awesome hockey country and has the best-looking athletes? But seriously, it’s been an amazing and rewarding journey to where I am today. It has been a challenging road to get to the Dalhousie MBA program and to secure a residency at Aon Reed Stenhouse. I come from a spa city – Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, a big tourist destination and home of the International Film Festival. My parents kept me pretty active in my early years, playing soccer, volleyball and hockey. While my mom, a high school principal, always put emphasis on education, my dad, an engineer and ex-professional volleyball player, put emphasis on sports, ultimately hockey. But it was my older brother’s influence that ultimately pushed me towards hockey. Then, at the age of 16, I was asked to consider Canada as another step in my hockey career. Shortly after, I went through an Import Draft into the Ontario Hockey League and there I was, with the Brampton Battalion, where I played for three years, and had the chance to play against guys like [current NHL players] Corey Perry, Mike Richards, Kyle Quincey and P.K. Subban.
Wow, you seem to have really taken a risk leaving home and moving to a foreign country at such a young age. Have you always been such a risk taker? Do you think this trait is important for future business leaders?